Performance Management

Tools and Resources


 


PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT TIP: Hope is Not a Strategy

Nobody said performance management is easy.  In  fact, it is often very challenging, but it is without question a critically important task. One of the most common sources of angst for anyone is providing feedback, particularly feedback for a  performance problem.  What many people do, particularly those with a natural aversion to conflict, is simply refrain from saying anything.  The person will be patient, maybe provide an indirect comment, and then hope that next time the individual in question will “get it right."       

As  the title explains, hope is not a strategy. If someone has a performance issue, then it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Research shows that feedback close in time to the event of concern is much more likely to have the desired effect of positive behavioral change.   And most people would prefer to know right away if there is a problem so that they can improve, rather than wait months for their mid-year or annual  review.  The longer you wait, the less effective the feedback will be.  It is easy to forget, especially with all the things we have to do.  We often re-write events in our memory that may not match what actually occurred.  And waiting to provide important feedback sends unintended messages to others that such behavior is either unimportant, or is tolerated and acceptable. 

This advice applies to direct reports as well.  If you need something from your manager, or if your manager is doing something that negatively impacts your effectiveness, then you need to let your manager know as soon as possible.  Your manager’s job is to help you be at your best every day, and should appreciate any feedback that will help make that possible.

How  should the feedback be delivered?  That will be a topic for another tip, but suffice it to say that it should be delivered respectfully, with a level head and a heartfelt desire to help rather than punish.